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May 21, 2024
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Southwest Monsoon to Reach Kerala on May 31: IMD


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Last month, the IMD had forecast above-normal rainfall during the June-September southwest monsoon season. (Image for representation: PTI/File)

Last month, the IMD had forecast above-normal rainfall during the June-September southwest monsoon season. (Image for representation: PTI/File)

The IMD said the onset of monsoon is not early but near normal, as the normal date is June 1. Last month, it was forecast that India will witness above-normal rainfall in the June-September rainy season

The southwest monsoon is likely to arrive over Kerala around May 31, setting the stage for the four-month rainfall season crucial for India’s farm-based economy. “This year, the southwest monsoon is likely to set over Kerala on May 31 with a model error of four days,” the India Meteorological Department said on Wednesday.

“This is not early. It’s near normal date as the normal date for onset of monsoon over Kerala is June 1,” IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said.

Last month, the IMD had forecast above-normal rainfall during the June-September rainy season. June and July are considered the most important monsoon months for agriculture as most of the sowing for the kharif crop takes place in this period.

Some parts of extreme northwest India, mainly Jammu and Kashmir, as well as northeastern states and Odisha could receive deficient rain. Overall, there is a 61 per cent probability that India could witness higher than normal rains this monsoon. The forecast has come as a relief for parts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which received subpar rains last year.

Unlike last year, when India witnessed a subpar monsoon that ended at 94.4 percent of the long period average, the overall conditions are favourable for higher rainfall this year. The prevailing moderate El Nino conditions over the equatorial Pacific Ocean are expected to transition into neutral conditions by the beginning of June, when the monsoon makes its onset. It is likely to further turn into La Nina during the second half of the monsoon around August-September.

El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a periodic scientific phenomenon that has a strong impact on the monsoon. While its existing El Nino phase favours deficient rains, the opposite La Nina often leads to above-normal rains.

“We have conducted a study and found that there have been 22 La Nina years from 1951 and most of the years have witnessed above-normal monsoon rains, except for 1974 and 2000. We can expect good rainfall activity over India this monsoon,” Mohapatra had said earlier.

Apart from La Nina, another phenomenon called the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is also expected to transition into its positive phase; this is also conducive for a good monsoon. The IMD said this time, the snow cover over the Northern Hemisphere during December to January was also less than normal, which also augurs well for the monsoon activity over India.

(With PTI inputs)

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